Sleeping during hot summer nights can be a challenge. The rising temperatures and early morning sunshine tend to disrupt precious rest. However, getting quality sleep is crucial for our overall well-being, especially during the summer when we need to stay energized for all the fun in the sun. From looking at fans and ice to the benefits of cooling bedding, we’ve compiled some easy tips to beat the night sweats and outsmart summer insomnia.
When it comes to cooling down your bedroom, optimizing airflow is key. Instead of simply opening a window, try opening two or more windows on opposite sides of the room to create a refreshing cross-breeze. This allows the air to flow through and cool down the space. For an even more effective ventilation system, set up box fans in the windows—one facing inward and the other facing outward—to draw hot air out and let fresh air in. You can even add a third fan in the middle of the bedroom to keep the air circulating nicely.
Fan-tastic Cooling Hacks
Fans can be your best buddies in beating the heat. Position a fan next to your bed, pointed directly at you—it's a simple yet effective way to stay cool and lull yourself to sleep. For an extra chill factor, drape a wet cloth or towel over the fan, creating a refreshing breeze. And if you're feeling adventurous, place a bowl of ice in front of the fan to circulate an even colder draft. Who knows, you might just become the proud inventor of a DIY air conditioning system!
For a quick cool-down, try placing a cold towel or ice pack on your pulse points, such as your wrists and neck. This method tricks your body into thinking it's cold, helping you cool down naturally and drift off to dreamland. If you're up for it, you can also take the plunge and try a hand or foot ice bath. Submerging your extremities in ice-cold water sets the temperature for the rest of your body, leading to a quicker cool-down and a more restful sleep.
Warm Bath or Shower
While it sounds counterintuitive, a warm bath or shower before bed can actually help regulate your body temperature and keep you cool. The warm water brings blood to the surface of your body, causing your core temperature to drop. Although you might feel warm as you dry off, your core body temperature will decrease, setting the stage for a good night's rest. Aim to take your warm bath or shower about an hour or two before bedtime for optimal results.
Keep a Foot Outside the Comforter
You can also keep a foot outside the comforter to keep your body temp down throughout the night. The extremities - head, hands, and feet - are the parts of the body where heat escapes most easily. The feet have the additional quality, along with the hands, of being hairless, and are endowed with many blood vessels, both of which serve to efficiently dissipate heat from the body. Having the big toe or the entire foot protruding from the blanket should therefore increase your chances of both falling asleep and sleeping well. According to Professor Dautovich, "I think it's probably a way for our bodies to cool down when we're too hot to sleep."
Freezing your sheets and pillowcases gives your body a refreshing welcome into bed. This simple trick can provide a pleasant cooling sensation as you hop under the covers. While the chill may only last 5-10 minutes, it should be plenty of time for you to relax and fall asleep. Just pop your bedding into an airtight plastic bag and let it chill in the freezer for a few hours. This method is surprisingly effective and requires minimal effort.
Invest in Cooling Bedding
While there are plenty of clever sleep hacks, investing in quality cooling bedding is the ultimate recipe for a great sleep in the heat of summer. If you're a hot sleeper or simply want to combat the balmy nights, consider getting cooling mattress pads, cooling pillows, and cooling blankets. These specially designed bedding items can help regulate your body temperature and keep you comfortable throughout the night. Lightweight comforters are also an essential tool in the fight against overheating.
Summer Sleep Success: Three Final Tips for Cool Nights
To optimize your sleep during a heatwave, memorize this mantra: “Leave the gym, skip the gin, and snooze solo for cool dreams to begin.” Avoid exercising at night, as it raises your metabolism and core body temperature, making it harder to fall asleep. Opting for morning cardio will give you energy for the day without disrupting your sleep. Additionally, steer clear of alcohol before bedtime, as it dehydrates the body and interferes with your sleep cycle. Instead, quench your thirst with a cool glass of water. Finally, if possible, sleep alone. Sharing a bed with someone increases body heat and can make you feel even hotter. Embrace the freedom of solo slumber, allowing you to sprawl out and enjoy the blissful coolness of your bed.
We hope these tips help you conquer the summer nights and enjoy cool, refreshing sleep. Savor the sunshine and soaring temps, knowing you’ll wake up feeling well-rested and ready to seize the day.
Photo by Molly Champion